Ever since the winter of 2009, when 19 snowmobilers died in the British Columbia backcountry, there has been a push by the Canadian Avalanche Centre to increase avalanche education amongst snowmobilers.
The centre increased its outreach to snowmobilers and developed programs to specifically target them.
This week, the CAC is releasing Throttle Decisions – a 10-part video series about avalanche safety for snowmobilers.
“It’s like an avalanche safety book but in a video format,” said Gilles Valade, the executive director of the CAC. “These are professionally made. They’re not in-house or from some guys handheld camera running around the backcountry.”
The series was conceived, filmed and edited by Revelstoke’s Francois Desrosiers of FD Productions. He was featured in the fall 2013 issue of the View.
“What I was looking to do was produce a product that was highly engaging, action-packed and would catch any viewer’s attention, whether they be snowmobilers, other action-adventure based sports, or just city folk,” Desrosiers told the Times Review at the time. “I thought if we created something engaging enough it would attract any viewers attention.”
Throttle Decisions features a dramatic show piece that is a mix of snowmobile shots and the telling of four major avalanche incidents. It sets the tone for the rest of the series, which consists of eight to 15-minute educational videos about topics like terrain, snowpack, equipment, weather, safe travel practices and more.
“Because it’s snowmobile specific, the people in the videos are snowmobilers,” said Valade. “They’re talking snowmobile lingo. They’re talking to snowmobilers.”
For Valade, the videos are a sign that the Canadian Avalanche Centre is bridging the gap between skiers and snowmobilers. “What this shows is the professionalization of the snowmobile sector from not buying in or being a bit left behind in terms of avalanche safety and hazard awareness,” he said. “This is something even the skiers don’t have. It shows a great improvement and we’re pretty happy to see how far the avalanche community has come up and how professional this is going to look.”
The videos are set to be released on Thursday, Nov. 28. They will be made available online and to avalanche safety course providers.
On Friday, Nov. 29, the show piece will be premiered at the River City Pub, alongside the snowmobile movie 509: Volume 8, and the rockabilly band the Hellbound Hepcats. The show starts at 8 p.m.
Revelstoke Snowmobile Club hosts 45th anniversary gala
The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club is marking its 45th anniversary with a dinner at the Hillcrest Hotel on Saturday, Nov. 30. The night will feature dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by the premiere of Thunderstruck 12. Tickets for the dinner are $29.95, but if you’re just coming for the movie, it’s free. Call the hotel to make your dinner reservation.